After practically living in their practice and game uniforms for an entire season, SF State student athletes got to dress up and put on their best for the end of the year Student Athlete Banquet.
Held Tuesday night, laughter and excitement filled the air as athletes entered the Annex 1 on State Drive, the home of the annual banquet. Flashes splashed across the room as athletes, coaches, faculty and administrators took their chance to get pictures together one last time before the summer.
“They did a really good job this year in the Annex,” said senior soccer player Daniel Boyer. “It looks really nice. It’s just nice seeing everyone get awarded after all their hard work.”
Volleyball’s Jaclyn Clark won the female athlete of the year award after an incredible season that ended with being named to the All-CCAA First Team. She also became only the third SF State player to total over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.
Men’s Cross Country runner Benji Preciado was named the male athlete of the year after placing third place at the CCAA Championships last fall with time of 23:45.
“It came to me as a surprise,” Preciado said. “I know I did well during the season but I know there’s a bunch of athletes that work hard as hard as me and probably did better.”
Charles Guthrie and Vice President of University Advancement Robert Nava kicked things off by amping up the crowd, congratulating the students and giving thanks to donors and those in the administration before signaling for dinner.
Two special donors that Nava and the coaches recognized were Judy and George Marcus for their $150,000 donation that helped renovate a field house next to Cox Stadium and also purchase new equipment.
“It’s just a fantastic addition to our program,” said soccer head coach Matt Barnes towards the couple. “I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
After dinner, all 12 head coaches gave speeches and announced their team awards; some teams included a coach’s awards and a most improved award, but every team awarded a most valuable player.
Max Talbert (Soccer), Jaclyn Clark (Volleyball), Adriana Calva (Women’s Cross Country), Nicole Uikilifi (Track and Field), Sam Alnassiri (Wrestling), Floyd Wormley (Men’s Basketball), Tatsiana Dashkevich (Women’s Basketball), Bryce Brooks (Baseball) all received MVP for their team while Logan Smith (Cross Country) and Paige Yield (Soccer) received the Gator Award.
Jennifer Lewis (Softball) was selected for the Chomp Athlete Award, which doubled as an MVP award. Most coaches also gave out defensive and offensive awards.
A standout portion of the evening was each team’s self made video. The team video garnering the most laughs and applause and by far the best produced was the men’s soccer team’s.
The team went all out, using a drone to capture great aerial shots of the team playing and practicing. The editing was crisp and the soundtrack went well with the video.
“Great night, great event,” Guthrie said at the end of the event. “Well deserving awards for all the student athletes.”